Customer satisfaction can make or break your company's success.
Today, 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services – up from 80% in 2020.
In the heart of Europe, B2B companies are feeling the heat.
We recently asked B2B customer service teams based in Europe what their main customer service objectives were.
The majority (82%) said they were focused on increasing customer satisfaction.
But here's the thing:
While 82% of companies see it as a main objective, only 33% track it as a key performance indicator (KPI).
What does the research tell us?
It suggests that European B2B companies struggle with the practicalities of customer satisfaction. They're aware of its significance, but struggle to quantify it effectively, decode the gathered data, and devise actionable strategies based on their findings.
So, how do we bridge this gap?
It starts with understanding what customer satisfaction really is, why it's so critical, and most importantly, how to measure it effectively.
What is customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is a measure of how a business’s products or services meet, exceed, or fall short of customer expectations.
It reflects how customers feel about their interactions with a company and its offerings.
These feelings can be influenced by various aspects of the customer experience, such as the quality of the product or service, the purchasing process, customer support, pricing, and more.
Unlike tangible metrics like sales numbers or market share, customer satisfaction is somewhat subjective and can be challenging to quantify.
3 Ways to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Understanding how your customers feel about your products and services is key to expanding your business. By measuring customer satisfaction, you gain valuable insights into how well you're meeting their expectations.
That being said, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to measure customer satisfaction. There are different methods and tools you can use to understand the voice of the customer:
1. Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Satisfied customers are a competitive advantage.
While 78% of customers would be willing to go out of their way to a company that has better customer service, 74% would switch to a competing brand or company if they found out that they provide better customer service.
So how can you tell if your customers are satisfied with your products and services?
A Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey can help you find out.
CSAT measures how happy customers are with a product or service they have purchased from you. It measures a single point in time.
Survey questions can be as simple as a single question, such as "How satisfied are you with our product/service?" or to more intricate ones delving into the nitty-gritty of the customer experience.
When you know why loyal customers had a great experience, your business can recreate it in the future to retain customers.
2. Customer Effort Score (CES)
Another metric for gauging customer satisfaction is the Customer Effort Score (CES).
CES measures the effort a customer has to invest to get their issues resolved, requests fulfilled, or questions answered.
Research indicates that effort is the strongest driver of customer loyalty, even more impactful than customer delight.
Use CES after various interactions with your company to gauge how easy it is for customers to get the help they need.
Here are a few examples of when you could use CES:
Immediately after completing a purchase with your company
Immediately after an interaction with customer support
After they've read important info from your help center
By measuring the Customer Effort Score, you can identify and tackle any obstacles that might be affecting your customers' happiness and satisfaction.
3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is another simple yet powerful metric used to gauge customer loyalty.
Customers are asked one straightforward question:
"How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?"
Their responses, on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely), are categorized into promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6).
The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
This metric is vital because it not only measures customer satisfaction but also customer loyalty—a critical factor for business growth.
Studies have shown that higher customer satisfaction leads to higher revenues and profitability. In separate research, Customer Gauge found that a 10+ increase in NPS score correlates with a 3.2% increase in upsale revenue.
It pays to add NPS to your customer satisfaction toolkit.
Customer satisfaction isn't just a box to tick or a nice-to-have feature.
It's the key to customer retention, customer loyalty, and ultimately, your top and bottom line.
But remember, it's not enough just to be aware of its importance.
It's critical to measure it effectively, understand the data, and use those insights to fine-tune your business strategy.
Whether it's through Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Customer Effort Score, or Net Promoter Score, there's a wealth of tools at your disposal.
Our research shows that only 33% of European B2B companies are making customer satisfaction a key performance indicator. It's time for that to change.
By shifting your focus from service levels to customer satisfaction, you’ll not only meet customer expectations, but exceed them.
For more insights and actionable strategies on how to transform customer satisfaction from a challenge to a competitive advantage, download our latest report, “European B2B Customer Service 2023.